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The Most Amazing Red Velvet Cake recipe is moist, fluffy, and has the perfect balance between acidity and chocolate. Top it off with cream cheese frosting for the perfect Red Velvet Cake you’ve been dreaming of!

3 layer Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting

Readers have been requesting The Most Amazing Red Velvet Cake for years.We’ve adapted our recipe for The Most Amazing Chocolate cake to bring you the perfect red velvet cake we know you will love, just as you’ve loved the original chocolate version. It’s not simply a chocolate or a white cake dyed red. It has added acidity to give it a flavor like no other.

Many people wonder, is red velvet cake really just a chocolate cake? While it certainly has a chocolate flavor and cocoa powder as a main ingredient, a red velvet cake is not a chocolate cake. It has far less cocoa powder in it than a traditional chocolate cake recipe.

  • What is the difference between chocolate and red velvet cake?

    This red velvet cake is based off of the recipe for The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake so there are some similarities, but there are also several key differences that gives Red Velvet Cake its unique flavor and texture. Red velvet cake has less cocoa powder added to it so the chocolate flavor is much more mild. Both our chocolate cake and red velvet cake use buttermilk, but buttermilk is a required ingredient for red velvet cake.  It also has vinegar and red food coloring added to it to add acidity and the classic red coloring.

  • What does red velvet cake taste like?

    Red velvet cake has an acidic taste that comes from the use of buttermilk and vinegar as well as the cream cheese in the frosting. The acidity is balanced out by the sweetness of the cake itself. It also has cocoa powder added to it for a mild chocolate flavoring.

  • How can I scale this recipe for difference sizes of pans?

    The distinct flavors of red velvet cake come from the buttermilk, vinegar, cocoa powder, and cream cheese frosting. Some red velvet cake recipes use only a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, giving virtually no chocolate flavor. This leads some people to think that red velvet cake is simply a white cake dyed red. A true red velvet cake is a distinct chocolate flavor in addition to a slight acidic flavor.

Cake Conversion Guide
  • What gives red velvet cake its flavor?

    The distinct flavors of red velvet cake come from the buttermilk, vinegar, cocoa powder, and cream cheese frosting. Some red velvet cake recipes use only a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, giving virtually no chocolate flavor. This leads some people to think that red velvet cake is simply a white cake dyed red. A true red velvet cake is a distinct chocolate flavor in addition to a slight acidic flavor.

  • What kind of frosting do you use for red velvet cake?

    Red velvet cake is traditionally made with cream cheese frosting or Ermine frosting

  • Is there a substitute for buttermilk?

    Buttermilk is a key component in this cake recipe. If you don’t have access to buttermilk, please use a buttermilk substitute. There are lots of options and you are sure to find one that you can make work HERE in our article on buttermilk substitutes.

  • What kind of food coloring should I use?

    This recipe was made and tested using red liquid food coloring. You can also use gel food coloring or a natural red food coloring made from beets. You can find a wide variety of natural food dyes on Amazon.

Red Velvet Cake with one slice removed

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in some of our other amazing cake recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

3 layer red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
The Most Amazing Red Velvet Cake recipe is moist, fluffy, and has the perfect balance between acidity and chocolate. Top it off with cream cheese frosting for the perfect Red Velvet Cake you've been dreaming of!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Ingredients

Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • cups buttermilk
  • cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring

Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  • Mix together flour, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.
  • Divide batter among the three prepared pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).
  • Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer for best results. Add in vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until frosting is smooth.
  • Assemble and frost the completely cooled cake.
Notes
For a brighter red color, reduce the cocoa powder to 1/4 cup. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 830IU | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1.9mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Velvet Cake
3 layer red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
The Most Amazing Red Velvet Cake recipe is moist, fluffy, and has the perfect balance between acidity and chocolate. Top it off with cream cheese frosting for the perfect Red Velvet Cake you've been dreaming of!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Ingredients

Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • cups buttermilk
  • cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring

Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  • Mix together flour, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.
  • Divide batter among the three prepared pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).
  • Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer for best results. Add in vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until frosting is smooth.
  • Assemble and frost the completely cooled cake.
Notes
For a brighter red color, reduce the cocoa powder to 1/4 cup. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 830IU | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1.9mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Velvet Cake
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